World News

FACTBOX - Ships held by Somali pirates

REUTERS - Somali insurgent group Hizbul Islam took control of the pirate haven of Haradheere on Sunday and wants to get involved in the lucrative trade, pirates and residents said.

Haradheere, and Hobyo further up the coast, are two of the main bases for pirates operating out of Somalia.

Here is a list of ships under the control of Somali pirates:

* SOCOTRA 1: Seized on Dec. 25, 2009: The Yemeni-owned ship was captured in the Gulf of Aden after it left the port of Alshahr in the eastern Yemeni province of Hadramaut. There were six Yemeni crew on board.

* ST JAMES PARK: Seized on Dec. 28, 2009. The British-flagged 13,924 dwt chemical tanker was bound for Thailand from Spain with a chemical cargo when it sent a distress signal from the Gulf of Aden. Its 26 crew members were from Bulgaria, Georgia, India, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

* ASIAN GLORY: Seized on Jan. 1, 2010. The British-flagged vehicle carrier was hijacked about 900 miles north of the Seychelles. The 25 crew consisted of eight Bulgarians including the captain, 10 Ukrainians, five Indians and two Romanians.

* RIM: Seized on Feb. 2, 2010. The 4,800-dwt Libyan-owned cargo ship was seized in the strategic channel south of Yemen. It said it was flying a North Korean flag, but was owned by White Sea Shipping of Tripoli. It carried a crew of at least 10, all Syrian.

* AL NISR AL SAUDI: Seized on March 1, 2010. The Saudi-owned 5,136 dwt tanker was on its way from Japan to Jeddah with one Greek and 13 Sri Lankan crew members.

* UBT OCEAN: Seized on March 5, 2010. Pirates hijacked the Marshall Islands-registered tanker off Madagascar. It was carrying fuel oil from the United Arab Emirates to Tanzania and had a crew of 21. The 9,000-dwt tanker is owned by Norwegian company Brovigtank.

* SAKOBA: Seized March 2010. The Spanish-owned fishing vessel carried Kenyans, one Spaniard, one Pole, one Cape Verdean, a Namibian and two Senegalese. Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme said it could be used as a “mother ship” to launch more attacks.

* FRIGIA: Seized on March 23. The 35,244-dwt ship was Maltese-flagged and was hijacked off the Indian coast with a crew of 21 -- 19 Turks and two Ukrainians.

* MV TALCA: Seized on March 23. The Bermudan-flagged reefer was on its way to Iran from Egypt with a crew of 23 Sri Lankans, one Filipino and one Syrian when it was seized in the Gulf of Aden.

* GALATE: Seized on March 28. Somali pirates also seized a Seychelles fishing boat and its six crew 60 miles off the island of Mahe. There were six crew on board, all Seychellois.

* MV ICEBERG 1: Seized on March 29. Pirates boarded the roll-on roll-off vessel 10 miles outside Aden Port in the Gulf of Aden. The ship carried 24 crew.

* AL-BARARI: Seized on March 31. The small Indian trade boat was captured after it left Mogadishu port, having unloaded food and medicine there. It carried a crew of 11.

-- In late March Somali pirates captured seven other small Indian boats known as dhows, together with around 100 crew. Three were freed in early April. Maritime advocacy group Ecoterra said the pirates were holding six more cargo dhows.

* SAMHO DREAM: Seized on April 4. The 319,000 dwt Samho Dream was en route to the United States from Iraq when it was hijacked about 1,560 km (970 miles) east of the Somali coast. The Marshall Islands-registered ship is South Korean-owned, had a crew of five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos and carried 2 million barrels of crude oil. On April 21, Somali pirates threatened to blow up the supertanker unless a $20 million ransom was paid.

* RAK AFRIKANA: Seized on April 11. The St Vincent and the Grenadines-flagged 7,561 dwt cargo ship MV Rak Afrikana was hijacked about 280 nautical miles west of the Seychelles. The ship is owned by Seychelles’ Rak Afrikana Shipping Ltd.

* Three Thai fishing vessels -- PRANTALAY 11, 12 and 14 -- hijacked over weekend of April 17-18 with a total of 77 crew.

* MV VOC DAISY: Seized on April 21. The Panama-flagged bulk ship with its crew of 21 Filipinos, was captured some 190 miles southeast of the Omani port of Salalah. The bulk carrier was sailing from the UAE to an unspecified port on the Suez Canal.


-- Pirate attacks around the world fell by 34 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from a year ago due to the continued presence of foreign navies in the Gulf of Aden.

-- The London headquartered International Maritime Bureau says its piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur logged a total of 67 incidents from January to March in 2010. There were 102 incidents in the first three months of 2009.

-- Globally in 2009, there were 406 reported incidents, in which 153 vessels were boarded and 49 were hijacked. There were 84 attempted attacks and 120 vessels were fired on. A total of 1,052 crew members were taken hostage. At least 68 crew members were injured and eight were killed.

-- In all, Somali pirates were held responsible for 217 acts of piracy in 2009, in which 47 vessels were hijacked and 867 crew members taken hostage.

-- Nearly 20,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden each year, heading to and from the Suez Canal.